I’m Jake, now 24 and no longer a severe sufferer of OCD. I battled OCD from as young as I could remember, although at the time I had no idea it was OCD. My friends in primary school and my family used to just says (it’s just jakes way). Thinking back now for other kids to react the way they did is very positive because I was never bullied or made to feel like a freak about it, it wasn’t until I got older and started secondary school when it got so bad I would be late for school most days and even had to afford P.E. in school sometimes…next paragraph you will understand why.

My OCD thoughts would taunt me and make me do near enough most things repeatedly, to a point where I was putting boxer shorts, trousers, socks, trainers you name it any item of clothing I was taking on and off 20 or more times before I was happy enough to leave the house or go onto the next item of clothing. I would also get in and out the bath multiple times when they got to a point I made the bathroom so wet with bath water we had to get a shower installed to help the situation. I’m going into this much detail because at the time I never thought I would be where I am today or writing about my experience. Now having my OCD controlled so much where I don’t even notice I have it (apart from being clean and tidy) I feel I can speak out and hope to help other sufferers that trust me it gets better and yes you can live a normal life.

My OCD took all of my primary school years and secondary school years to get my head around, this was partly as I hid it from my family for so long that by the time I had help it was so bad the NHS therapy lessons I had just wasn’t enough. In the end I had to book private therapy alongside the NHS treatment just to control my OCD. Speaking out and telling my mum was the best thing I could have done, she helped and supported me through the whole thing and I can now see how hard that must have been for her.

If I could give one bit of advise it would be to tell your family, let people help and partly deal with it as-well, bottling your emotions and hiding OCD behaviour only makes it worse.

I’m now 24 and haven’t had OCD since I was about 17/18 I would say, since I left school it got a lot better I’ve even spent a year travelling which I never though I would be able to do when I was at my worst. I hope this story helps some of you, I’m simply trying to get across to you that it DOES get better just get help, speak to family and friends and stay calm as much as you can.